Ray Monohan ALL Sports Top Picks
|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|05-10-11||Cincinnati Reds -132 v. Houston Astros||Top||7-3||Win||100||7 h 30 m||Show|
The Cincinnati Reds have got their mojo going now that their rotation is healthy and they'll face Houston Astros starter Brett Myers, who has been throttled in his last three outings.
Myers is 0-3 with a 7.50 ERA in his last three outings, which includes a six-run, nine-hit performances against the Reds last Thursday. If he has a short outing, the Astros will have to rely on a bullpen with an 8.79 ERA over its last six games.
Homer Bailey will take to the bump for the Reds and he had a good debut versus the Astros last Thursday. He went six innings and gave up one earned run. For his career against the Astros, he's got an ERA of 2.31 with a WHIP of 0.86.
The Astros are just 7-16 against right handed starters this year. Bet the Reds. 10* play.
|05-09-11||Oakland A's v. Texas Rangers UNDER 8.5||Top||7-2||Loss||-120||9 h 38 m||Show|
The Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers will send their aces to the mound on Monday night.
Trevor Cahill has been one of the most underrated pitchers this season. He has allowed one earned or less in six of his seven starts this season, including a seven-inning, zero-earned run performance against the very same Rangers on April 29th. He is 7-2 for his career against Texas with an ERA of 2.27 and a WHIP of 1.18.
C.J. Wilson has a career ERA of 2.29 against the Athletics with a WHIP of 1.37.
11 of the last 17 meetings in Texas have stayed under. The under is 6-1 when the A's are on the road with a total of 8 to 8.5 while it's 3-1 when the Rangers are at home with a total of 8 to 8.5. Bet the under. 10* play.
|05-07-11||Miami Heat v. Boston Celtics -3||Top||81-97||Win||100||10 h 57 m||Show|
While the Miami Heat have a two-game lead in this Eastern Conference semifinals, there is good reason to think that the Boston Celtics get on the board in Game 3.
For starters, home-court advantage is now on their side along with desperation. They know that one more loss means the series is over, so Game 3 will be their best effort yet.
More importantly, the Celtics are the older, more beaten up team. They had several bumps and bruises after Game 2 on Tuesday, and have three days off to rest will benefit them far more than it will the Heat. Head coach Doc Rivers even gave the team a day completely off.
The Celtics are 6-1 on the year when playing with three days rest; the Heat were just 2-4 this year as a road underdog of three points or less. Bet the Celtics. 10* play.
|05-07-11||Detroit Tigers v. Toronto Blue Jays OVER 7.5||Top||9-0||Win||109||6 h 59 m||Show|
Two aces are on the mound for Saturday's matchup between the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, but neither has a good track record against their opponents so we'll take a look at the over.
Justin Verlander has a whopping 6.68 ERA against the Blue Jays for his career with a WHIP of 1.48. That's his highest ERA against any American League opponent.
The Jays will counter with Ricky Romero, who is 1-3 with a 4.68 ERA against the Tigers for his career.
The over is 10-3 this year when the Tigers face a team with a losing record and 12-5 in their road games. Bet the over. 10* play.
|05-06-11||San Jose Sharks v. Detroit Red Wings -135||Top||3-4||Win||100||18 h 4 m||Show|
History has a tendency of repeating itself.
In the second round of the playoffs last year, the San Jose Sharks won Games 1 & 2 against the Detroit Red Wings by exactly one goal. In Game 3 of the series, the Sharks went to Detroit, came from behind to tie the game in the third period and win it in overtime.
The exact same pattern has played out in this year's series and we'll look for the patterns to continue.
The Red Wings are too good of a team to get swept at home on their own ice. They have played better incrementally game-by-game and Friday's effort should be their best yet.
The urgency won't be as strong with the Sharks as they know they are in the driver's seat. Detroit will bring their best performance yet and live one more day. Bet the Red Wings. 10* play.
|05-04-11||Cleveland Indians v. Oakland A's UNDER 7||Top||1-3||Win||102||12 h 48 m||Show|
Trevor Cahill and Josh Tomlin have both pitched very well for their respective clubs and on Wednesday, they'll square off against each other.
Cahill, who is 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA, has allowed more than one run just once in his six starts.
Tomlin has been excellent as well, posting a record of 4-0 with an ERA of 2.45 this season. He's allowed two runs or fewer in four of his five starts.
The under has cashed in 11 of the last 16 meetings between the teams. The under is 5-1 in the Indians last seven on the road with a total of seven or less.
It's also worth noting the splits here. The Indians have 93 runs at home, which is the second-most in the majors (6.2 per game) and just 57 on the road (4.38 per game). Bet the under. 10* play.
|04-17-11||Chicago Cubs v. Colorado Rockies OVER 9.5||Top||5-9||Win||100||12 h 7 m||Show|
The Chicago Cubs will send Ryan Dempster to the mound for Sunday's matchup with the Colorado Rockies and while he might look like the better brand name in this series (in comparison to Alan Johnson), the truth is that he has an awful track record at Coors Field.
Dempster is just 1-2 with a 6.30 ERA this season, so it's not like he's pitching particularly well to begin with. Now he'll have to start against the Rockies, whom he has compiled an ERA of 7.71 over his career. What's worse is that he has an ERA of 13.74 in five starts at Coors Field.
The Cubs had a season-high 17 hits on Saturday and will take on career minor-leaguer Alan Johnson on Sunday. Johnson has a career ERA of 4.45 through six minor league seasons.
In Saturday's game, there were 11 runs and that included the Rockies going 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Both bullpens worked at least three innings (6.1 in total). Bet the over. 10* play.
|04-10-11||Dallas Stars -175 v. Minnesota Wild||Top||3-5||Loss||-175||3 h 37 m||Show|
The Dallas Stars got life on Sunday when the Chicago Blackhawks lost in the early afternoon and gave allowed them a window of opportunity to make the playoffs.
If the Stars win this contest, they will qualify for the playoffs and push the Blackhawks out of the eighth and final playoff spot.
The Stars are playing well right now as they have won four straight. They have also won six straight in their series against Minnesota.
Meanwhile, the Wild have just three wins in their last 14 games with two of those coming against Edmonton and one against St. Louis.
The Stars have more on the line and are the significantly better team right now. Bet them on Sunday. 10* play.
|04-08-11||Carolina Hurricanes -145 v. Atlanta Thrashers||Top||6-1||Win||100||19 h 30 m||Show|
The Atlanta Thrashers earned a surprising win on Thursday (in the eyes of some) as they managed to upset the New York Rangers 3-0 at Madison Square Garden. The result really helped the Carolina Hurricanes as they now control their own destiny as far as the 2011 NHL playoffs go.
The Thrashers have been a horrible team of late but what was overlooked in their win on Thursday is that they have a great track record against the Rangers. For whatever reason, they have their number going 13-3-3 in the last 18 meetings.
Carolina has had much more success as they have won six of their last eight home meetings with the Thrashers. The Thrashers are just 3-11 this season when playing on back-to-back nights. Bet the Hurricanes. 10* play.
|03-20-11||Washington v. North Carolina OVER 157.5||Top||83-86||Win||100||9 h 1 m||Show|
The North Carolina Tar Heels averaged 77.4 points per game this season and scored 102 points in their opening round contest against Long Island. But one of the reasons we're eyeing the over in this contest is not just because of how much they scored but the fact that they allowed 87 points to Long Island as well.
It's an early game for a West Coast team like Washington, so don't expect their defense to show up - especially since no team has traveled further than them in the NCAA Tournament. They are also a high-scoring team themselves so they probably won't have a problem with that.
The Huskies average 83.5 points per game, which is third in the nation. The Tar Heels looked a little suspect with their rebounding and transition defense in their first contest and they'll get burned once again if that's the case on Sunday.
Over is 4-1 in Tar Heels last 5 non-conference games.
Over is 7-2 in Tar Heels last 9 games as a favorite of 0.5-6.5. Over is 5-1 in Huskies last 6 Sunday games. Over is 6-2 in Huskies last 8 neutral site games as an underdog.
The bottom line is that both teams play at a frenetic pace and defense is optional. Bet the over. 10* play.
|03-18-11||Illinois v. UNLV -2.5||Top||73-62||Loss||-110||47 h 18 m||Show|
Bruce Weber's Illinois squad has never returned to prominance after their 2005 National Championship and a lot of fans are getting a tad antsy. They have won only one NCAA Tournament game since.
It's a matchup of two disappointing teams here but Illinois is far more likely to disappoint once more.
Guard Demetri McCamey is simply a microcosm of the team and program: talented player with NBA-level body but lacks heart and basketball IQ. That leads to plenty of underachieving for him and the team.
Really, this could easily have been a 6-11 matchup instead of 8-9. Illinois was 0-5 ATS in neutral site contests this season has covered just five of their last 17 in that situation. They are also just 2-6 ATS against good defensive teams that allow less than 64 points per game. Bet the Rebels in this one. 10* play.
|03-17-11||Penn State v. Temple -2.5||Top||64-66||Loss||-110||16 h 15 m||Show|
The Penn State Nittany Lions had to empty the tank last week in the Big Ten Tournament just to pump up their resume and qualify for the Big Dance, and now they'll likely be wiped off the floor by a quality Temple team.
Temple could have easily been seeded higher and Penn State could have easily been seeded lower, so this is more of a mismatch than some experts might think.
The Owls are an experienced March Madness team but they are stinging from a pair of first-round losses in the last two seasons. They are going to be focused on getting over the hump.
And it should be a big hump when you consider what these teams have accomplished in their non-conference schedule. Temple is simply far more impressive. Bet the Owls. 10* play.
|03-12-11||Detroit Red Wings v. St. Louis Blues OVER 5||Top||5-3||Win||100||9 h 12 m||Show|
When handicapping the games last night, the over in the Detroit Red Wings-St. Louis Blues contest is something we had circled to begin with before the lines were out.
Now that they have come out, a surprising total of five is something that cannot be passed up.
Six of the last seven meetings in St. Louis have gone over the number and 13 of the last 16 meetings overall have gone over as well.
The Blues have been filling it up at a high rate as they have scored at least four goals in each of their last three games. The Red Wings have had some offensive struggles of their own but Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak has a career GAA of 4.46 against the Red Wings, so this could be the cure to their scoring woes.
On top of that, Henrik Zetterberg, who has a five-game point drought, has had more offensive success against the Blues than any other team - including eight points in the first four meetings this year.
We liked this total at 5.5 a lot but at five, this is a no-brainer. Bet the over. 10* play.
Free play today on the Canucks vs. Flames NHL Matchup. Get it on my page at CappersPicks.
|03-01-11||Buffalo Sabres +115 v. New York Rangers||Top||3-2||Win||115||6 h 23 m||Show|
Based on the value we are receiving in this contest, we have a top play with the Buffalo Sabres as they visit the New York Rangers.
Truth be told, this game should be much closer to a pick as the Sabres have been playing well since new ownership took over the team. They are 2-0-1 since Terry Pegula became the sole owner and while his introductory speech inspired the team, the front office's moves to boost the forwards unit at the trade deadline should give this team some more momentum.
Their only loss in the last three was a shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings, so that's nothing to blush about.
The Rangers are not a good home team as they have lost five of their last seven at home. More over, they are battered with injuries as Marian Gaborik, Ruslan Fedotenko and Marc Staal are all out for this contest.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has just one win in his last four versus Buffalo with a GAA of 3.20.
Combined with the fact that we are getting good value on the moneyline, bet the Sabres. 10* play.
Check out the free play today on the New York Knicks vs Orlando Magic matchup on my page at CappersPicks.
|02-26-11||Carolina Hurricanes v. Montreal Canadiens -155||Top||3-4||Win||100||18 h 30 m||Show|
The Montreal Canadiens are coming off a tough loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in their latest contest on Thursday but things will be different on Saturday.
For starters, goaltender Alex Auld started on Thursday and coughed up three goals before the Habs could even blink. To put it simply, the Habs are a much better team at home when Carey Price is in net. He has won 18 games at home and the Habs, as a team, only have 19 home wins.
He'll be in net on Saturday and he has won three of his last four against the Hurricanes while posting a GAA of 1.97. His time should be a bit easier as the Hurricanes will be without their best player, Eric Staal.
He left Friday's contest after taking a big hit and he looked like he suffered a concussion.
Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward has lost both games against the Habs this season while posting a GAA of 4.44. Throw in the fact that the Hurricanes have lost eight of their last 10 on the road, are playing on a back-to-back and are just 9-20 against a team with a winning record this season, and there's a good chance the Habs get back on the winning track tonight. Bet Montreal. 10* play.
Check out my free play on BYU/SDSU loaded on my page at CappersPicks.
|02-21-11||Washington Capitals v. Pittsburgh Penguins UNDER 5.5||Top||1-0||Win||100||7 h 12 m||Show|
Just a head's up, because of timing we weren't able to get our first play in this morning but take the New York Islanders in the 1:00 PM ET start if you get the chance. Consider it a 7* play.
For this contests, under looks like a shoe-in between two teams that can't find the back of the net with any consistency. Much has changed between these two teams and what used to be a gift over is now a solid bet for the under.
Case and point: 13 of the last 18 meetings have gone over but all three meetings have stayed under this season with only a combined 12 goals in three games.
The Capitals are a defensive team and they simply don't score much anymore. The under is 22-7 for them in their last 29 games against winning teams and 43-15 overall this year.
For Pittsburgh, they haven't scored more than three goals in a game (not including a shootout) in 13 games as they are without Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz. Those are their three best offensive weapons.
Furthermore, it's the last game of the Capitals on a five-game road trip, all in the span of eight days. The Pens also played yesterday and the under is 7-3 when they are on a back-to-back.
The under is also 18-7 when Pittsburgh is at home with a total of 5.5. Bet the under. 10* play.
|02-20-11||Philadelphia Flyers -125 v. New York Rangers||Top||4-2||Win||100||10 h 2 m||Show|
The Philadelphia Flyers haven't lost consecutive games since December 28th and we won't bank on it happening on Sunday.
The Flyers lost their last outing in Carolina on Friday.
Even so, the Flyers have still won 15 of their last 20 games while the Rangers have just two wins in their last nine contests.
For the Rangers, this matchup is very simple: get good goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist or they are likely to lose. The problem for them is that Lundqvist has struggled against the Flyers as he's won just two of his last seven starts against them while posting a GAA of 3.00.
Philadelphia has won four straight and six of the last eight meetings between the teams. They are also 21-8 versus teams with a winning record compared to the Rangers, who are just 13-19 in that same scenario. The Flyers are also 12-3 versus the division.
Considering the Rangers play better on the road than at home, they may not have a noticeable home-ice advantage for this one. Bet the Flyers. 10* play.
|02-19-11||Anaheim Ducks v. St. Louis Blues OVER 5||Top||3-9||Win||100||19 h 52 m||Show|
To put it simply, there is no reason for there to be a total of five on this contest.
Both teams are down to their backup goalies and given the history of this series, it's safe to say it is quite a surprise to see a five on the board here.
The Ducks had been on a roll, winning 14 of 18 games, while riding their red-hot All-Star goaltender, Jonas Hiller. But he's now out indefinitely with dizziness and in missing the last two games, the Ducks have been brutal defensively.
In the last two games alone, the Ducks have given up 12 goals and that's to the Minnesota Wild and Washington Capitals, who both rank in the lower half of the league in goals per game. Against the Capitals, the Ducks blew a lead four separate times en route to a 7-6 loss.
The Ducks have been non-committal about who will be in net but if it is Curtis McElhinney, who is the No. 1 right now with Hiller out, he has given up 19 goals in his last four starts.
For St. Louis, they are down to a backup as well as Ty Conklin will be in net on Saturday. The last time he faced the Ducks, he gave up seven goals in a 7-4 loss earlier this year.
The Blues traded their top defenseman, Eric Brewer, on Friday and that should only weaken the defensive efforts on both sides.
These two teams have consistently played over in the last three years as nine of the last 11 meetings have gone over. As a matter of fact, these two teams haven't scored less than five goals in any of those meetings. Bet the over. 10* play.
Check out my page at CappersPicks for a free play in college hoops Big 12 action.
|02-19-11||Washington v. Arizona -2.5||Top||86-87||Loss||-110||15 h 24 m||Show|
Revenge will be squarely on the minds of the Arizona Wildcats, who lost 85-68 to the Washington Huskies back on January 20th. Since then, the Wildcats have reeled off seven straight wins and have actually climbed ahead of the Huskies in the Pac 10 standings.
Both of these teams play well on their home court while both become very vulnerable away. The Wildcats have yet to lose at home this season and they have won 26 of the last 32 contests as the host in this series.
They have also won five straight in the series at home.
While the final score doesn't show it, the first game was closer than you might think. The two teams were neck-in-neck until the final six minutes where the Wildcats went cold and the Huskies pulled away. Things will be different this time around.
Wildcats head coach Sean Miller has called this the biggest game in his two-year tenure at Arizona and they will be up for this game. With revenge on their mind as well as home court advantage, expect a comfortable Wildcats win. 10* play.
Check out my page at CappersPicks for a free play in college hoops Big 12 action.
|02-12-11||Pittsburgh v. Villanova -2.5||Top||57-54||Loss||-110||9 h 48 m||Show|
The Villanova Wildcats are coming off a tough loss at the RAC and now they have to come home for what could be the Big East game of the week against Pittsburgh.
But they catch a break.
Pitt will be without the Big East's leading scorer, Ashton Gibbs, which is a big blow to their team. More importantly, this is a must-win for Villanova.
The Wildcats are still steady at 19-5 but they have lost four of seven and are coming off a gut-wrenching loss where they blew a 10-point lead with two minutes remaining to Rutgers. They know that they'll have to show better than that if they want to be considered a true power player in the conference.
The key for Villanova is that many of those losses were on the road and now they are back at home. At home, they are 8-4 against the spread. They are also 9-1 against the spread when facing a good defensive team that allows less than 64 points per game. Pitt is undefeated on the road but they have just two wins in their last seven trips to Villanova.
With such a small spread on the contest, it indicates that the two teams are very evenly matched. When you subtract Gibbs out of the equation and add in home court advantage for the Wildcats in an important must-win, the arrows point in their favor. Bet Villanova. 10* play.
|02-09-11||Ottawa Senators v. Calgary Flames -190||Top||2-5||Win||100||20 h 12 m||Show|
The Ottawa Senators are the worst team in the NHL right now and the Calgary Flames are red-hot. This doesn't really need much explanation beyond that.
The Senators are an absolute disaster right now as they have lost 16 of their last 17 games. Their current losing streak is at 10 games. They are a veteran team that really doesn't have any spark in them and until they fire the head coach, Cory Clouston, they are going to be a wreck.
Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames had a heat check recently and they passed the test. They won six straight but then suffered a shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings. They quickly bounced back in their most recent contest with a win over the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is 6-0-1 with a 1.79 GAA in his last seven starts overall and he's 6-1-0 with a 2.23 GAA in his last seven versus Ottawa.
Calgary has won seven of the last eight meetings between the teams and the last four at home. Bet them in this spot. 10* play.
|02-08-11||St Louis Blues v. Florida Panthers UNDER 5.5||Top||2-1||Win||100||20 h 28 m||Show|
We have quite the oddity in the St. Louis Blues-Florida Panthers contest on Tuesday night. While both teams have been absolutely miserable of late, history shows that the goaltenders of each team have excellent histories against their opponent.
The Blues have just three wins in their last 14 but both of their goaltenders play well against Florida. Jaroslav Halak is 5-1-0 with a 2.15 GAA versus the Panthers while Ty Conklin is 6-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA in six starts.
For Florida, goaltender Tomas Vokoun has won nine straight games against the Blues and has posted a sparkling GAA of 1.11 in that time.
The Panthers won their latest effort in New Jersey on Sunday, which was a 4-3 victory. The under is 9-2 for the Panthers after they score four or more goals in their previous game. It's also 9-2 in the Panthers 11 non-conference games.
Both teams won't get much help from their power plays as the Blues unit scores on just 15% of their opportunities, which is good for 25th in the NHL. The Panthers are even at 12.4%, which is the second-lowest percentage in the NHL.
Bet the under in this contest. 10* play.
|02-06-11||Pittsburgh Steelers v. Green Bay Packers OVER 44.5||Top||25-31||Win||100||65 h 39 m||Show|
While the biggest storylines of the last two weeks has really been about the two 3-4 defenses and how they rank No. 1 and No. 2 in scoring, they won't be the story on Super Bowl Sunday.
There are a number of key factors coming into play as to why the over is the play. For starters, both defensive coordinators, Dom Capers and Dick Lebeau, are very familiar with each other - and their schemes - after having worked together in Pittsburgh in the mid-1990's.
With two weeks to prepare, both offenses couldn't have had better preparation than going up against the very units they are going to see on Sunday. Both quarterbacks will have a good idea about the blitzing schemes, characteristics and patterns.
But more importantly than that, the key to this contest going over will be the Green Bay Packers passing the ball. The Steelers do have an elite defense and while their run defense is top-flight (No. 1 overall), their pass defense is mediocre.
The Steelers lack depth at cornerback and the Packers have tons of depth at wide receiver. That's a horrible matchup for Pittsburgh.
Much has been made about the Steelers ability to run versus the Packers No. 18 rush defense but at a closer look, that run defense has been far better of late. The Packers have given up just 209 rushing yards on 59 carries in three playoff games (3.5 yards per carry). Contrary to popular opinion, Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall won't get going - especially with the Steelers offensive line woes.
So this sets up to be a passing games and considering how well the Packers have passed the football indoors, this could be a very high-scoring affair. The Packers have scored more than 40 points in each of their last two indoor playoff games and have averaged over 31 points per game in their last 12 dome games. In that span, Rodgers has 26 touchdown passes and just five interceptions.
The Steelers would have loved this game to be outdoors, in the rain or snow, so that they can muck it up and dictate the pace. Instead, the Packers speed and finesse will dictate the pace of this game, which will lead to plenty of points. Bet the over. 10* play.
|02-06-11||St Louis Blues v. Tampa Bay Lightning -160||Top||3-4||Win||100||14 h 38 m||Show|
The St. Louis Blues are a disaster right now, winning just three times in their last 13 games. It's hard to believe that this was a quality playoff-contending team last year but in 2011, they can't find themselves. Doing it in Tampa Bay will be even tougher.
The Lightning have the second-most home wins in the Eastern Conference and the fewest home losses in the NHL. More importantly, they are coming off a home loss on Friday and they rarely lose back-to-back at home.
The difference in this game should come in net. Jaroslav Halak, the Blues No. 1 goaltender, is coming off an atrocious month and he's won just three of his last 10 starts. He'll likely be back on the bench as Ty Conklin fills in after earning a win on Friday. The Blues have given up 12 goals in their last three road games.
For Tampa Bay, midseason pickup Dwayne Roloson has been excellent at home. He gave up four goals in the Lightning's 5-2 loss to Washington on Friday but when you look at the bigger picture, that was an aberration. He posted back-to-back shutouts before that and Tampa Bay had allowed just six goals in their previous six games. Roloson is 8-3-1 (with two ties) against St. Louis with a 1.47 GAA.
The Lightning will bounce-back. Bet them in this spot. 10* play.
|02-05-11||Los Angeles Kings v. Calgary Flames -115||Top||4-3||Loss||-115||10 h 28 m||Show|
We were aiming to have the Calgary Flames as an 8* or 9* pick in this spot but the value on the line undoubtedly makes this a top play.
The odds makers have been slow on the uptake with the Calgary Flames, who have actually won six straight games. That's the longest current winning streak in the NHL. During each of those wins, Calgary hasn't been favored by more than -135 in any contest.
But the Flames have actually been playing good hockey much longer than these six games. They are 12-3-3 since Christmas and have climbed back into the Western Conference playoff race.
The Kings are playing better as well as they have won four of five but they are still just 11-13-1 on the road this season. They are 1-3 in their last four away.
They particularly struggle at the Saddledome where the Flames have won 10 straight against the Kings. The Flames have also won eight of 10 in this series overall. Bet the Flames. 10* play.
|02-04-11||Portland Trail Blazers v. Indiana Pacers -2.5||Top||87-100||Win||100||18 h 49 m||Show|
The Indiana Pacers have momentum for the first time this season; the Portland Trail Blazers are just trying to get through games without suffering any more injuries.
The Pacers have won two straight since and are aiming for their first three-game winning streak of the season. The firing of head coach Jim O'Brien has sparked the team and they have won three of four overall.
Under Frank Vogel, the roles on the team are far more clear-cut and the way you can tell that is not just from team newspapers but fantasy basketball players are thrilled with the change. Roy Hibbert was becoming useless at the elbow, Tyler Hansbrough had no clue what his role was and rookie Paul George was sparingly used.
Since then, Hibbert has come back to life as he is being played low in the post, Hansbrough is a clear-cut backup who provides scoring pop off the bench and George is experiencing his best stretch yet. He's scored in double-figures in five of the last six games.
While the Pacers are healthy, Portland is not. With Greg Oden and Eliot Williams already out for the season, and Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby currently out indefinitely with knee injuries, the Trail Blazers were already shorthanded.
Guard Wesley Matthews is likely to play but he's fighting through a knee and ankle injury he suffered in his last outing. He is tough but he won't be at 100% tonight.
The Pacers played the Blazers tough on January 22nd, losing 97-92 at the Rose Garden. Portland is just 9-16 away from home and this is also their third game in four nights. Bet the Pacers. 10* play.
|02-03-11||Dallas Stars v. Boston Bruins UNDER 5.5||Top||3-6||Loss||-125||8 h 52 m||Show|
The Dallas Stars meet the Boston Bruins in a non-conference matchup that should wind up as a low-scoring affair.
The Bruins are one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL (sixth overall) and fifth when away, but they score far less at home. On the road, they average 3.12 goals per game but at home, that number drops to 2.92.
Also, goaltender Tim Thomas tends to play a bit better at home than away as his GAA is 1.61 at home versus 1.98 away.
The Stars are coming off of a contests where they lost 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks and the under is 12-4 for Dallas this season following a game where they allowed four or more goals. For Boston, the under is 9-4 when at home with a total of 5.5.
Don't expect to see fireworks in this game. Bet the under. 10* play.
|02-02-11||Detroit Red Wings -175 v. Ottawa Senators||Top||7-5||Win||100||19 h 34 m||Show|
It's becoming harder and harder to come up with reasons to back the Ottawa Senators these days.
The Senators have just one win in their last 14 games and it's not getting better. It's getting worse. On Tuesday night, they were topped in New Jersey 2-1 and posted a season-low 16 shots. They've now lost seven straight and it isn't any better at home.
Ottawa is a paltry 9-14-4 at home (or simply 9-18 to bettors) and has just two wins in their last 15 at home. No. 1 goaltender Bryan Elliott has lost his last 11 home starts.
Not that the Red Wings are having problems scoring but they'll get a boost from Dan Cleary, who is expected to be back in the lineup on Wednesday. He has been out since December 26th and has posted 16 goals in 35 games this season.
Detroit is a quality road team (15-7-2) and they should make quick work of the Sens on Wednesday. 10* play.
|01-26-11||St. Louis Blues v. Calgary Flames -135||Top||1-4||Win||100||22 h 0 m||Show|
Very quietly, the Calgary Flames are playing their best hockey of the season right now with a 5-1-1 stretch. They will extend that streak of solid play when the St. Louis Blues visit on Wednesday and head into the All-Star Break with momentum.
The Blues have won just two in their last 11 games and for them, the train has clearly come off the tracks. At the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Blues have just three wins in their last 10 games.
For the Flames, everything is clicking right now. They are a veteran team that has finally found it's scoring touch at the offensive end with several players catching fire. At the same time, goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff has stopped 64 of the last 68 shots he's seen and he's dialed in right now.
Kiprusoff is 14-4-2 lifetime versus the Blues with a 2.17 GAA.
The Blues have just one road win in their last five and have scored just 15 goals in their last six games overall. They aren't doing much of anything right as their penalty kill has allowed eight goals in the last 26 opposing power plays while their own power play has just three goals in its last 32 opportunities.
Bet the Flames. 10* Play.
|01-25-11||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Tampa Bay Lightning -200||Top||0-2||Win||100||8 h 34 m||Show|
The Toronto Maple Leafs are stumbling as the All-Star Break approaches while the Tampa Bay Lightning are picking up the pace. That should make for a one-sided affair on Tuesday night.
The Maple Leafs have lost five of six and are giving up goals at an alarming pace. They have allowed a player from their opposing team to score hat-tricks in two of the last three games and in the third, Carolina's Brandon Sutter came close with a two-goal effort. That's bad news for them considering they have to face Steven Stampkos of the Lightning on Tuesday, who leads the NHL in points and goals (38).
In total, the Leafs have allowed 26 goals in their last six games, which is a 4.3 per game average.
The Lightning are an excellent home team as their four regulation home losses are the fewest in the NHL. Overall, they are 11-1-1 in their last 13 home games. It should also help that they have defeated the Leafs twice this season, outscoring them by a combined score of 8-3 while score four goals in each contest.
The Lightning are a perfect 7-0 this season when playing at home with a total of 6. They'll stay perfect after tonight. 10* Play.
|01-23-11||NY Jets v. Pittsburgh Steelers UNDER 39||Top||19-24||Loss||-110||128 h 1 m||Show|
The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets combined for 39 points in the first meeting and were a hair away from adding another touchdown to the total, but there is still plenty of reason to go under in this matchup.
For starters, just the fact that they have squared off once already will allow the defenses to be more prepared for what they have already seen from their opponent's offense.
Any way you cut it, this is a matchup of two excellent defensive teams that are going to takeaway what their opponent does best. On offense, the Jets will continue to do what they've done, which is milk the clock, get first downs and take advantage of any mistakes their opponents give them. Since they are on the road, their goal is to hang around and try to steal the game late.
On defense, the Jets have allowed just 36 points in the last two contests to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady's teams. They are dialed in and playing as good as they have all season long.
The weather may factor with snow expected early in the day and possibly turning to rain. The weather is expected to be 18 Fahrenheit at its warmest.
As long as the Steelers don't give up big kick returns, safeties and field position like they did in the first matchup, this game will be a hard-fought defensive battle and will stay under. 10* play.
|01-23-11||Green Bay Packers -190 v. Chicago Bears||Top||21-14||Win||100||123 h 4 m||Show|
It just feels like destiny, doesn't it? The Green Bay Packers have been the media sweetheart all this week and everyone is just writing them in for a Super Bowl berth.
Unfortunately, this isn't a Disney movie and the games are not played on paper.
When it comes to Sunday's matchup with the Chicago Bears, the Packers have virtually every advantage except for the home field.
While most people wouldn't even argue that the Packers have the better offense, the better offensive line, the better quarterback and the better crop of wide receivers, the Packers are also better on the other side of the ball as well.
Green Bay has the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFC. Their total defense ranks fifth while the Bears are ninth, they've generated the second-most sacks in the NFL with 47 while the Bears have just 34 (17th in NFL) and the Packers have 24 interceptions while the Bears have 21.
The Bears defense excels at stopping the run (2nd overall), which means that the Packers won't have the balance that they have had the last couple of weeks with rookie James Starks taking some pressure off of the passing game, but the Bears pass defense ranks 19th in the NFL, which is going to be a problem.
The Packers are a pass-oriented team and their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, is red-hot right now with seven touchdowns and no interceptions through his first two playoff games.
On the other side, the Bears offense - specifically Jay Cutler - is just too mistake-prone to trust. They don't run the ball very well and while we know that the Packers can win the game if the burden is put on Rodgers, there is far less confidence in Cutler winning this game on his own. Every week, Bears fans are holding their breath that Cutler won't give the game away.
With home-field advantage helping the Bears, this game might be nip-tuck. If you're uncomfortable betting the moneyline, buy it down to a field goal or 2.5. Either way, the Packers are moving on to the Super Bowl and the Bears are going home. 10* play.
|01-22-11||Indiana Pacers v. Portland Trail Blazers -5.5||Top||92-97||Loss||-110||11 h 41 m||Show|
The Portland Trail Blazers may have a slew of injuries but they continue to adjust and continue to perform well.
Even without Greg Oden, Brandon Roy and now Marcus Camby, the Blazers have still won four straight and are in eight in the Western Conference.
Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has grown up in a big way as he has averaged 25.9 points per game with 10.1 rebounds in his last 18 (all without Roy).
The Blazers are 11-2 at home since the start of December and that's bad news for a Pacers team that has dropped 11 of its last 12 on the road. The Pacers defense has collapsed in recent games as they have given up 224 points per game in their last two games. Center Roy Hibbert missed the team's last contest and their defense will be weakened again if he's held out on Saturday. He's questionable with a respiratory illness.
The Pacers have just three wins in their last 12 games, they are 1-4 against the spread in a road game where where the total is between 190 and 194.5 points and they are just 5-13 this season when facing a team with a winning record. Bet the Blazers. 10* play.
|01-20-11||Los Angeles Clippers v. Portland Trail Blazers -3.5||Top||93-108||Win||100||10 h 2 m||Show|
The Los Angeles Clippers are growing up quickly, but they haven't shown the capacity to win tough road games quite yet.
The Clippers recorded their highest scoring output in nearly two seasons with a 126-111 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves last night but they won't be able to do those numbers tonight.
The Blazers have owned the Clippers at the Rose Garden as they are 10-0 versus Los Angeles in the last 10 meetings at home. The Clippers have struggled offensively in many of those meetings, averaging just 87.8 points per game in their last four.
The Blazers are 10-2 in their last 12 home games and are averaging 100.6 points per game. Bet the Blazers to derail the Clippers momentum on Thursday night.
|01-16-11||Ottawa Senators v. Washington Capitals UNDER 5.5||Top||1-3||Win||100||14 h 54 m||Show|
Ottawa goes to the nations capital on Sunday sporting a 17-22-4 record, while the Washington Capitals record is 24-14-4. The last meeting between these teams was in Ottawa on the 19th of December. A 3-2 Washington win.
Both teams can't score right now - Caps have scored more than three just once in their last 16 games while Sens are 1-8 in their last nine and have scored just nine goals in those eight losses.
Jason Spezza is out again.
Sens power play just 2 for their last 26; Caps power play just eight for their last 78.
Under is 16-7-2 in OTT last 25 overall. Under is 10-4 in WAS last 14 vs. Northeast. Under is 34-16-2 in WAS last 52 overall. OTT are 1-8 in the last 9 meetings in Washington.
|01-15-11||Green Bay Packers +115 v. Atlanta Falcons||Top||48-21||Win||115||125 h 10 m||Show|
The Green Bay Packers will visit the Georgia Dome for the second time this season in just one of four regular season rematches this weekend in the NFL.
The Packers fell short by a field goal in the late-November meeting but this time, the result will be different.
Much has been made about the Atlanta Falcons and their home-field advantage but the New Orleans Saints went into the Georgia Dome in Week 16 and proved to everyone that the Falcons are still very much human at home. Green Bay will do the same.
It's hard not to factor momentum into this contest as the Packers, who had to win out the final two weeks of the regular season, have essentially been playing playoff football since December. Even with Aaron Rodgers shelved in a trip to Gillette Stadium, the Packers gave the Patriots all they could handle, then they stomped the New York Giants at home and topped the Chicago Bears in Week 17. Last week, they were in control the entire way in Philadelphia en route to a 21-16 win.
Most impressive was the fact that they muted Michael Vick, who was expected to be a defensive nightmare. Defense wins championships and the Packers, who held the explosive Eagles to just 16 points, have the NFC's No. 1 scoring defense.
Atlanta may have lost momentum with a Week 16 lost to New Orleans and then a bye week last week. Rust may be in effect.
The Falcons are just 3-3 against the spread versus teams with a winning record, which indicates that they've done a lot of their damage against weak foes this season. The Packers are 3-1 ATS as an underdog and they'll make it 4-1 as they exact some revenge and get another hard-fought road win. 10* play.
|01-13-11||Orlando Magic -1 v. Oklahoma City Thunder||Top||124-125||Loss||-110||15 h 8 m||Show|
The Orlando Magic have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA as they had won nine straight prior to last night's overtime loss in New Orleans. The Magic are tearing through just about everybody right now and their offense is clicking. Last night was just the third time in the last 10 games that they have been held under 100 points.
The Thunder are laboring in the paint right now, which is bad news considering Dwight Howard is coming to town. On Wednesday night, the Thunder coughed up a season-high 70 points in the paint. Considering the Magic are such a strong inside-out team, the Thunder will be in trouble if they let Howard run wild on the interior.
The Thunder just aren't a very good defensive team right now as they allow 101.5 points per game - and 112 last night in Houston. Against a streaking offensive team like Orlando, that simply won't cut it. 10* play.
|01-10-11||Oregon +110 v. Auburn||Top||19-22||Loss||-100||28 h 25 m||Show|
The Auburn Tigers may have the sexy attractions for the bettors in this game - the No. 1 ranking overall, Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton, the SEC pedigree - but the Oregon Ducks are the better football team.
Auburn had a cupcake schedule this season as they only played four true road games this season. To contrast, Oregon had to play at Tennessee, at Arizona State, at USC, at Cal and at Oregon State.
The Ducks have the better defense as well - especially since it had to go through the rigors of the Pac 10, which is the better offensive conference. They have the Pac 10's top-ranked rushing defense and are ranked 15th in the nation against the run. Their scoring defense ranks 12th (18.4 points per game) while Auburn's is 54th (24.7 points per game). The Ducks defense is also among the leaders in the nation in sacks per game with 2.58.
Auburn has displayed a bad tendency to fall behind in some games this season and they've had to ride Newton in a number of big comebacks. But Auburn also hasn't fallen behind to a team like Oregon, which will simply run away with the game if they get any sort of lead.
The Ducks also have an experience edge as they played in the Rose Bowl just last season. For Auburn, this is their first taste of a major bowl game, which is different than anything they've faced.
Oregon is the better team and they'll win this game outright. 10* play.
|01-08-11||New Orleans Saints v. Seattle Seahawks +10.5||Top||36-41||Win||100||122 h 26 m||Show|
The New Orleans Saints have a cupcake matchup this weekend as they face the first team in NFL history to qualify for the playoffs with a losing record.
But the Saints have only won one road playoff game in their franchise history and that came in the Super Bowl last season.
On top of that, the Saints have issues in their backfield right now as running backs Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas will miss this game. The Saints have struggled this season when they have been one-dimensional on offense.
The Saints are an indoors team that has to travel to the west to play a game outdoors. Not only that, they are being asked to cover 11 points.
The Saints are just 1-4 against the spread when facing a team with a losing record. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have played better at home than away this season as they have covered five of eight spreads.
New Orleans should win but this game will be closer than the odds makers expect. 10* play.
|01-04-11||Arkansas v. Ohio State -3||Top||26-31||Win||100||18 h 53 m||Show|
The Ohio State Buckeyes have struggled against SEC teams in bowl season (0-9) but this matchup should be a bit different.
For starters, unlikely their last two SEC BCS embarrassments (against Florida and LSU), they are not facing the best team in the conference. Arkansas is still good but clearly, with losses to Alabama and Auburn, they are below the cusp.
Ohio State matches up really well against the Razorbacks. Most SEC teams have stifling run defense but not the Razorbacks. Ohio State lives and dies by the run, which means it's a great news for them that Arkansas gives up just under 160 rushing yards per game.
Secondly, Arkansas is a passing oriented team and they'll be going up against the No. 4 passing defense in the country. Ohio State has only given up seven passing touchdowns this season while picking off 18 passes.
The Buckeyes do struggle against SEC teams but this is one that they should beat. They'll have the better defense on the field and if they'll be able to run, this will be an easy one for them. 10* play.
|01-03-11||Florida Panthers v. Carolina Hurricanes -165||Top||4-3||Loss||-165||5 h 42 m||Show|
The Carolina Hurricanes have dominated the Florida Panthers in their recent meetings in Raleigh and that should continue on Monday.
The Hurricanes have won six of the last seven at the RBC Center and 28 of the last 38 meetings overall.
The Hurricanes have been scoring goals in bunches recently, which has led to a three-game winning streak. They have 14 goals in their last three and their power play is 5-for-12 in that span.
They should catch a break on Monday as Panthers backup goaltender Scott Clemmensen is expected to make the start. He is just 1-6-2 lifetime against the Hurricanes with a 3.52 GAA. For the Canes, Ward has won his last three starts while giving up just six goals in those games and his GAA at home this season is a sparkling 2.27.
The Hurricanes have won seven of their last 10 and should be fresh for this contest. Florida played on Sunday night and is just 2-5 in back-to-back games this season. This will also be their third road game in four nights. 10* play.
|01-02-11||St. Louis Rams v. Seattle Seahawks UNDER 41.5||Top||6-16||Win||100||31 h 28 m||Show|
The Seattle Seahawks will host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday night in a winner-takes-the-NFC-West showdown.
Offense should be hard to come by in this one as the Seahawks unit is regularly pathetic but may be without starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Even if he plays, the passing game has been lifeless in recent weeks and the running game has been dormant all season long. The Seahawks rank 30th in the NFL in rushing yards per game with just 85.5.
The Seahawks have lost three straight and seven of their last nine while scoring just 15.3 points per game in those seven losses. Even so, they are a team that plays better at home - especially their defense.
The Rams are an indoors team that is traveling west to play outdoors in frigid temperatures. They aren't running the ball particularly well, which is never a good sign when heading out on the road.
Running back Steven Jackson is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry this season and has never had a 100-yard rushing game against Seattle. In the second half of the season, his yards per carry average is even lower at 3.5.
This has the makings of an ugly defensive struggle. The under is 3-1 in the four games that the Rams have been favored this season and it's 11-5 in their last 16 divisional games.
With Charlie Whitehurst likely starting for a toothless Seahawks team and the Rams taking a young offense on the road outdoors, look for a low-scoring contest in this one. 10* play.
|01-02-11||Jacksonville Jaguars v. Houston Texans -3||Top||17-34||Win||100||23 h 3 m||Show|
The Jacksonville Jaguars are still playing for a playoff spot in Week 17 but they aren't going to get it. For starters, they need the Indianapolis Colts to lose at home. Secondly, they need to defeat the Houston Texans, which they have already done once this season, but they'll need to do it without their starting backfield.
Both quarterback David Garrard and running back Maurice Jones-Drew will not suit up for this game, which puts the burden on Trent Edwards and Rashad Jennings. The Houston Texans defense is pathetic but it should be able to look a bit better against Edwards, who was cut by the Buffalo Bills earlier this season.
The Texans won't have Andre Johnson at their disposal on Sunday but they still have an explosive offense. They'll have a big edge in their backfield as both Matt Schaub and Arian Foster are Pro Bowl-caliber players (Foster was selected to the 2011 Pro Bowl).
This is also a revenge game where the Texans lost a heartbreaker in Jacksonville on a last-second Hail Mary pass.
With the recent rumors that head coach Gary Kubiak will be back in 2011 with Wade Phillips manning the defense, the Texans can use this game as a springboard for next season. They'll be charged up for this one while the Jags won't be able to match points with them on offense. 10* play.
|01-01-11||Michigan v. Mississippi State -4||Top||14-52||Win||100||25 h 33 m||Show|
The Michigan Wolverines have had a brutal defense all season and it's not going to magically get better for their New Year's Day bowl against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Overall, this is just a matchup of two teams heading in different directions.
Since taking over for Mississippi State, Dan Mullen has guided the Bulldogs in the right direction and they are thrilled to be playing in a big bowl on New Year's Day. The offense has become dangerous and the defense is still rugged, which means the Bulldogs are no longer in the basement of the SEC.
Meanwhile, Michigan looked like they were trending upwards to start the season but that balloon quickly deflated. They finished up the year losing their last two games by a combined score of 85-35. On top of that, head coach Rich Rodriguez had to plead publicly just to keep his job.
It's a matchup of two good offenses but only one team has a defense to speak of: Mississippi State. They have a tough SEC defensive line that will be able to get a few stops while Michigan won't. 10* play.
|01-01-11||Penn State v. Florida -7||Top||24-37||Win||100||24 h 51 m||Show|
Penn State was beaten up a few times by teams that could run the ball, which is bad news considering who they are facing on New Year's Day.
The Nittany Lions have failed several times this season against teams that can run the ball well. Alabama worked them over on the ground in the first half of their meeting, Iowa ran all over them, as did Ohio State and Illinois. In their five losses this season, Penn State gave up an average of 212.2 rushing yards per game.
That's bad news considering the Gators are known as a rushing team.
On top of that, there will be a huge emotional edge for Florida as this will be the final game for head coach Urban Meyer. The players are going to go full boar to send him off well.
Penn State's offense hasn't faced SEC-type speed readily this season and that could lead to a few mistakes from their quarterbacks. This one won't be a close contest. Bet Florida. 10* play.
|12-31-10||Atlanta Hawks v. Oklahoma City Thunder -5||Top||94-103||Win||100||17 h 17 m||Show|
The Atlanta Hawks started the 2010-11 season with an impressive stretch of wins on the road but as the calendar year finishes up, they are struggling away from home.
The Hawks started the season with four straight road wins and wins in seven of their first nine away games. But now they are just 9-8 on the road as they have lost six of their last eight on the road.
They are struggling to score away from home and that will be compounded by the fact that they will be without forward Marvin Williams after he injured his back in the Hawks most recent game this week. The Hawks are averaging just 85.3 points per game on the road in December.
The Thunder are 7-2 in their last nine home games and are 14-5 against the spread in their last 19 when facing a team from the Southeast Conference. They are also 10-4 straight up against teams from the East.
Bet the Thunder to end the year on a high note and roll the Hawks. 10* play.
|12-31-10||Florida State v. South Carolina -3||Top||26-17||Loss||-105||17 h 36 m||Show|
The Florida State Seminoles will take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Chick-fil-A bowl. Unfortunately, they may not be at full strength for the game.
Quarterback Christian Ponder has had two minor surgeries over the last month and he's had both elbow and shoulder problems. He should be fine to start this game but how will he hold up after a few hits?
The Seminoles need him at full speed because the Gamecocks weakness on defense is their secondary. If he's not healthy and sharp - and he isn't 100% - then the Gamecocks will have huge edge.
South Carolina's offense has plenty of weapons, including running back Marcus Lattimore. He's going to get a steady dose in this bowl and when the Seminoles cheat up to stop him, the Stephen Garcia will hit AlShon Jeffery for big plays in the passing game.
An SEC team is regularly the bet against an ACC school. On top of that, the Gamecocks have the edge on the sidelines with Steve Spurrier coaching against Jimbo Fisher. Spurrier will relish the chance to beat up Florida State again.
Take the Gamecocks. 10* play.
|12-30-10||Washington v. Nebraska -14||Top||19-7||Loss||-105||322 h 14 m||Show|
Razor's 9* UW/NEB 2010 HOLIDAY BOWL ATS Winner!
Washington Huskies (6-6 SU, 4-7-1 ATS) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-3 SU, 5-7 ATS)
10:00PM ET - Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego CA
The Washington Huskies and Nebraska Cornhuskers square off in the Holiday Bowl in a rematch from earlier this year.
On September 18th, the Huskers went to Washington and destroyed the Huskies 56-21. While the two teams come into this game in opposite moods, the result should still be the same.
Nebraska had BCS expectations but leg injuries to quarterback Taylor Martinez - and a couple of tough losses to Texas A&M and Oklahoma at the end of the season - threw everything off track. Meanwhile, the Huskies barely qualified for bowl season as they won their last three games to finish 6-6. Their last three wins came against UCLA, California and Washington State - not exactly three titans.
With some time off, Martinez will be healthy for this game and will again wreak havoc on a Huskies defense, which allows 31.2 points per game. It may be Jake Locker's last contest before he hits the pro's but a good Nebraska defense will again show why he's going to be a bust in the NFL.
Lay the points with the Huskers. 9* Play.
|12-28-10||North Carolina State v. West Virginia -2.5||Top||23-7||Loss||-110||77 h 43 m||Show|
The West Virginia Mountaineers will take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the Champs Sports Bowl, which is a classic matchup of offense versus defense.
But in this game, the Mountaineers defense will dominate the Wolfpack offense.
West Virginia excels at getting into the backfield and North Carolina State has neither a good ground game or good offensive line to slow them down. The Mountaineers didn't give up more than 21 points in a game this season and allowed just 15 touchdowns, which was the fewest in the nation. They also had 22 takeaways and 40 sacks.
The Mountaineers offense has plenty of playmakers with quarterback Geno Smith, running back Noel Devine and receiver Jock Sanders.
The Wolfpack simply don't have a defense to match here. Their unit gives up just under 228 passing yards per game and allowed 20 touchdowns and only had eight interceptions.
West Virginia will move the ball and score while North Carolina State will get stuck in the mud. Bet the Mountaineers. 10* play.
|12-26-10||Tennessee Titans v. Kansas City Chiefs -5||Top||14-34||Win||100||24 h 18 m||Show|
The Kansas City Chiefs need to keep winning to keep the San Diego Chargers off their heels, and the good news is that they finish up the season with their final two contests at home.
The Chiefs host the Titans this week, who are in complete disarray. The Titans ended their six-game losing streak at home last week but that was against the Houston Texans, and on top of that, they needed to pull out all of the stops. Quarterback Kerry Collins should have been intercepted a couple of times in the first quarter (dropped picks) and the Titans needed to complete a couple of gambles on fourth down.
This week, they face a much tougher opponent and they have to head on the road. The Titans have lost their last three road games by an average margin of 13.3 points per game.
The biggest issue for the Titans will be their 17th-ranked rush defense. The Chiefs have the No. 1 rushing offense in the NFL and they are going to pound the Titans on the ground. If the game is forced on Collins arm, he won't be as lucky as he was last week.
The Chiefs need this game whereas the Titans are playing for their coach, who some of them may not have as much faith in after his rift with quarterback Vince Young. Bet the Chiefs. 10* play.
|12-25-10||Dallas Cowboys -7 v. Arizona Cardinals||Top||26-27||Loss||-100||18 h 17 m||Show|
The Dallas Cowboys travel to Arizona on Saturday to face the hapless Cardinals, in what should very well be a blowout.
The Cowboys have been very competitive since firing Wade Phillips as they have four wins in six games with two 30-27 losses to the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles - two teams that could be representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.
On the other hand, the Cardinals have been completely listless down the stretch of a season and aside from a six-turnover effort from the Denver Broncos, the Cardinals have eight losses in their last nine games.
The Cowboys haven't scored less than 27 points in a game after Jason Garrett took over and they have averaged 32.2 points per game. The Cardinals are hapless on offense with rookie quarterback John Skelton running the show as he has completed less than 50% of his passes and has yet to throw a touchdown through two starts.
Take the Cowboys to roll the Cardinals on Christmas Day. 10* pick.
|12-23-10||Carolina Panthers v. Pittsburgh Steelers -14||Top||3-27||Win||100||8 h 49 m||Show|
The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football tonight and it should be a walk in the park for Pittsburgh.
Even if Carolina was at full strength, this would be a tough matchup for them as they are a run-oriented team going on the road to face the No. 1 run defense in the NFL.
Now that they are shorthanded, this will be an insurmountable task.
Rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen has been awful as a starter. On the season, the Panthers have just two wins and both came at home to San Francisco and Arizona.
The bottom line here is that the Steelers will be able to stack the box, stuff the Panthers running game and force the game on Clausen, who leads the NFL's 32nd-ranked pass offense.
The Steelers offense should be able to move the ball regularly in this game and part of that will be based on their defense forcing three-and-outs and putting their offense in good field position.
It's just hard to fathom the Panthers being able to pass the ball well enough to make this close. They run a very complex 3-4 defense and Clausen hasn't seen anything like it.
The Steelers will dominate on both sides of the ball and earn the win and cover. 10* play.
|12-23-10||Navy v. San Diego State -3||Top||14-35||Win||100||7 h 25 m||Show|
The San Diego State Aztecs are a college football team on the rise but it looks like most bettors don't know about them. The line on this contest opened up at five but has been dropping non-stop to the point where we only have to lay a field goal with the Aztecs.
For starters, this game will be played in San Diego, which means this will pretty much be a home game for the Aztecs. It has been raining heavily in San Diego, which might give Navy the edge because they are reliant on the ground game but San Diego State's defense is tailored to stop a team like this.
The Aztecs are fifth in the nation with tackles per loss per game (7.58) and they have recorded 28 sacks on the year. Their aggressive front should be able to generate some negative plays and put Navy into some uncomfortable passing situations.
If the defense doesn't, the offense should.
San Diego State has an explosive offense that averages 448.8 yards per game and 35 points per game. They have four losses on the season but when you consider none was more than five points - a 40-35 loss to TCU - you start to see just how good of a team San Diego State is.
They are a team on the rise and while most of the nation is still behind on the times, this will be their coming out party. They will be a power player in the Mountain West for years to come. 10* pick.
|12-22-10||Houston Rockets v. Los Angeles Clippers -1||Top||97-92||Loss||-105||10 h 58 m||Show|
The Los Angeles Clippers have won three straight games are playing with a lot of confidence nowadays, which is why we are going to bet them on Wednesday night.
We documented earlier on in the season that the Clippers had found a good coach in Vinny Del Negro, a centerpiece in Blake Griffin and a foundation for success. Now a lot of their early season close calls are turning into wins and the Clippers are building momentum.
The Rockets are a bad defensive team and the Clippers are 11-4 against the spread this season versus teams that allow 99 points per game or more. The other main factor here is that the Rockets may be a bit road-weary as this will be their third road game in four nights, and their fourth game in six nights overall.
Take the Clippers to earn their fourth straight win and cover the spread.
|12-22-10||Utah v. Boise State -17||Top||3-26||Win||100||115 h 12 m||Show|
Razor's 8* Utah/Boise St. 2010 MAACO BOWL Winner!
Utah Utes (10-2 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) vs. Boise St. Broncos (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS)
8:00PM ET - Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas NV
The Boise State Broncos were expecting to play in a much better bowl than the MAACO Bowl but they'll have to make the most of it when they face Utah on Wednesday.
The Broncos are very much an elite team and their only stumble was in Nevada, who is a Top 25 team. The Wolfpack had a miraculous win to derail Boise State's season but realistically, the Broncos are BCS good.
Utah has only faced one elite team this year when they hosted TCU at home and they were smoked 47-7.
On Wednesday, without their starting quarterback, Jordan Wynn, expect a similar result.
Some people think the Broncos might not be in this game mentally but they have a senior class of players that is going to want to make one lasting impression before moving on. Hammering Utah will be that lasting memory. Lay the points with Boise State. 8* Play.
|12-20-10||Minnesota Timberwolves v. Los Angeles Clippers -3.5||Top||90-113||Win||100||22 h 25 m||Show|
Razor's 10* Monday Night NBA $teamRoller! **TOP PLAY**
Minnesota (6-22) at L.A. Clippers (7-21)
10:30 PM ET - Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Clippers ended their awful road woes with back-to-back wins in Detroit and in Chicago, and now they look to carry momentum over as another team with plenty of its own road problems, the Minnesota Timberwolves, visits on Monday night.
The Timberwolves are 1-28 in their last 29 away from home and part of the problem - at least this year - has been defense. They are one of the worst defense teams in the NBA as is, giving up 109.9 points per game but that number actually balloons to 112.6 on the road.
Not that the Clippers are favored often - even at home - they are 1-0 both straight up and against the spread in the only other time they were at home favored by 3.5 to six points this season.
For the Timberwolves, this will be the last game of their six-game road trip and fatigue could come into play. This will be their fifth game in seven nights as this has been one jam-packed trip.
The Clippers have won the last two meetings at Staples Center and should make it three in a row against a worn down Timberwolves squad.
|12-19-10||Houston Texans +1.5 v. Tennessee Titans||Top||17-31||Loss||-110||74 h 56 m||Show|
Sunday AFC South Beatdown! Razor Ray's 10* Houston/Tennessee Winner!
Houston Texans (5-8 SU, 4-8-1 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS)
LP Field - 1:00PM ET
The Houston Texans can't seem to get out of their own way recently but the Tennessee Titans are a team that is coming apart at the seams.
While Houston lost in heartbreaking fashion once again this past Monday - they are the first team in NFL history to trail by 14 points or more in four games, come back to tie or take the lead, and then still lose - they are still the better team than Tennessee.
The Titans have been nosediving ever since head coach Jeff Fisher benched quarterback Vince Young and the duo had a blowup. Recent reports came out this week that the locker room is divided over the coach and the quarterback, and the fact that owner Bud Adams supports the quarterback and not the coach is paving the way for Fisher to lose the grip on the team. The Titans have lost six straight games and their effort has been questioned regularly.
On Sunday, they'll face a Texans squad that has a brutal defense but still has an elite offense. With Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, the Texans should at least be able to put up points. On defense, the weakness of their unit is the secondary but the good news is that Tennessee is not a great passing team. Star running back Chris Johnson has just 169 total rushing yards in his last three games.
The Titans look like they've quit on the year while the Texans tend to play better when the pressure is off. They are the better of the two teams and should cover as a small road underdog.
|12-18-10||New York Knicks -4.5 v. Cleveland Cavaliers||Top||102-109||Loss||-110||19 h 38 m||Show|
Razor's ON FIRE! 9* NBA ATS Easy $ Beatdown! NY/CLE
New York Knicks (16-10) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (7-18)
7:30PM ET - Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
The New York Knicks have been cooled off since their eight-game winning streak but a matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers should get them back on track.
The Knicks were one of the hottest teams in the NBA until they ran into the Boston Celtics on Thursday and the Miami Heat on Friday. Those two elite teams handed the Knicks two home losses, but now that they are back on the road against a feeble Eastern Conference opponent, they should find the win column again.
The Knicks have been solid on the road this season, posting a record of 10-4 and covering the spread in 12 of those 14 contests.
For Cleveland, the wheels have simply come off the wagon. After starting 4-3, they are just 3-16 in their last 19 games and they are currently mired in a 10-game losing streak.
The Knicks are 6-1 against the spread in a road game where the total is greater than or equal to 210 and have covered 33 of their last 47 in that scenario. At the same token, the Cavs are just 4-9 ATS this year against good offensive teams that average 99 points per game or more.
Lastly, win or lose, the Knicks have been excellent against the spread recently. They have covered the spread in 14 of their last 16 games. Bet them make it 15 of 17 on Saturday. 9* Play.
|12-18-10||Dallas Stars v. Columbus Blue Jackets UNDER 5.5||Top||2-1||Win||100||8 h 39 m||Show|
Razor's Saturday NHL Total$ Freezout!
Dallas (18-10-3) vs. Columbus (16-12-3)
7:00PM ET - Nationwide Arena, Columbus OH
The Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets meet up on Saturday night and we're going to play the under. The Stars got their No. 1 goalie back on Thursday as Kari Lehtonen returned from injury but he was a tad rusty, allowing four goals but still stopped 39 of 43 shots.
Lehtonen has a 2.64 GAA on the season and should look a little bit better in his second start after the time off.
Both of these teams don't do a good job with their power plays as Columbus' power play converts just 12.7% of their opportunities, which ranks them in the basement of that category, but the Stars aren't much better at 16.7%.
Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason is 2-1-1 versus the Stars with a GAA of 2.36. And if Mathieu Garon is in net, he's won three straight starts versus Dallas.
The under is 9-2 after the Stars have given up four or more goals in their previous game, which means they'll look to tighten up the back end once again after losing 4-3 to San Jose in their previous contest. The under is also 8-3 in the Blue Jackets last 11 home games where the total is 5.5.
Four of the last five meetings in Columbus have gone under and six of the last nine meetings overall have as well. We'll look for those trends to continue tonight.
|12-18-10||Northern Illinois v. Fresno State +1.5||Top||40-17||Loss||-110||54 h 26 m||Show|
Saturday Profit$. Razor Ray's 2010 Humanitarian Bowl 10* ATS Beatdown!
Northern Illinois Huskies (10-3 SU, 9-2-1 ATS )vs. Fresno St. Bulldogs (8-4 SU, 5-6 ATS)
Bronco Stadium - Boise, Idaho - 5:30PM ET
A couple of Fridays ago, Northern Illinois looked like a shoe-in to be the MAC Champions. As a 17-point favorite over Miami of Ohio, the Huskies lost outright and then their head coach, Jerry Kill, took off for Minnesota.
Now the Huskies have to pick up the pieces to face a high-powered Fresno State team, that has one of the more underrated coaches around: Pat Hill.
The Bulldogs are going to use the blueprint that the Redhawks used to beat Northern Illinois and aim to duplicate it.
Fresno State has played some tough competition this year and rides into this game on a two-game winning streak. They nearly upended nationally-ranked Nevada, which could have been the signature win of their season but they fell just short 35-34.
The Bulldogs have an excellent pass rush and that should counteract the Huskies ground game, which they need to rely on to succeed. Considering that the Huskies are a program in transition and were hoping to play in a much bigger bowl game, bet against them here. Fresno State will win this game outright.
|12-16-10||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Calgary Flames -140||Top||2-5||Win||100||11 h 10 m||Show|
Razor Ray's NHL All-Canadian Can Of Whoop-A$$!
Toronto Maple Leafs (12-14-4) vs. Calgary Flames (13-15-3)
Scotiabank Saddledome - 9:35PM ET
The Toronto Maple Leafs might be in a bit of tough spot on Thursday when they visit the Calgary Flames. They are coming off a big revenge win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night and have another one coming up against Vancouver on Saturday. Sandwiched in between is a Flames contest at the Saddledome, which is a place the Leafs haven't had much success.
With the win in Edmonton, the Leafs have just four road wins on the year. In those 13 road games, they have been outscored by a margin of 1.3 goals per game.
On top of that, the Leafs don't fare well in non-conference contests either as they are just 13-28 in their last 41 against the West. Or more recently TOR are 2-9 in their last 11 vs. Northwest. Head to head the home team in this series is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings.
Toronto is likely to start Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who is 8-6-2 with a 2.67 goals-against average in 17 games this campaign. Miikka Kiprusoff has posted 3 shutouts and a 2.73 GAA in 26 outings for the Flames this season despite an 11-14-1 record. The former Vezina Trophy recipient has faced the Maple Leafs seven times, going 4-1-1 with one goose-egg and a 3.14 GAA.
Calgary have won their last 2 matchups vs. the Leafs, and Calgary has won their last 5 games at home and should push that streak further with a win tonight. 7* Play.
|12-16-10||San Francisco 49ers v. San Diego Chargers -9||Top||7-34||Win||100||27 h 44 m||Show|
Razor's Thursday Night NFL Network 8* $teaming-Mad Side!
San Francisco 49ers (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS) vs. San Diego Chargers (7-6 SU, 7-6 ATS)
Qualcomm Stadium - 8:20PM ET (NFL NETWORK)
Writeup to follow.
|12-15-10||Phoenix Coyotes +100 v. New Jersey Devils||Top||0-3||Loss||-100||8 h 1 m||Show|
Razor's 10* Wednesday NHL ATS Wipeout! (Pho/NJ)
Phoenix Coyotes (14-8-6) vs. New Jersey Devils (8-19-2)
Prudential Center - 7:05PM ET
The New Jersey Devils are the worst team in the NHL and they should have their hands full with a very good Phoenix Coyotes squad on Wednesday. The Devils might be at home but Phoenix has actually played very well on the road this year. They have the best road winning percentage among Western Conference teams and they have won six of their last seven away from home. In that span, they have given up just 12 goals. That figures to be a problem for the low-scoring Devils, who have just 53 goals on the season (two of which were credited from shootout wins). Coyotes netminder Ilya Bryzgalov is 6-1-2 in his last 10 starts and he hasn't allowed more than three goals in any of those games. Bet the Coyotes in this game as the Devils are hapless.
|12-15-10||Los Angeles Clippers v. Philadelphia 76ers -200||Top||91-105||Win||100||7 h 27 m||Show|
The Philadelphia 76ers have quietly been one of the hotter teams in the NBA over the last couple of weeks, so we'll play the trend. They have won six of their last eight games, covered 11 of their last 12 spreads and have been very competitive since their 3-13 start. Their only two losses in their last eight games have come by a total of six points. The big factor for the 76ers has been their commitment to defense. Their last eight opponents have scored just 86.9 points per game. The Los Angeles Clippers visit on Wednesday night and they have lost all 10 of their road games this season and 37 of their last 40. They have also lost nine straight versus the Eastern Conference. The 76ers are on a back-to-back situation, which is why we'll play the moneyline here opposed to the spread. The trends favor them heavily.
6* Moneyline Pick.
|12-14-10||Toronto Raptors v. Charlotte Bobcats -4.5||Top||91-97||Win||100||9 h 40 m||Show|
Razor's ON FIRE! 7* NBA ATS Easy $ Beatdown! Tor/Char
Toronto Raptors (9-15 SU, 13-10-1 ATS) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (8-15 SU, 9-12-2 ATS)
Time Warner Cable Arena - 7:05PM ET
Writeup coming shortly.
|12-12-10||Denver Broncos -4 v. Arizona Cardinals||Top||13-43||Loss||-110||49 h 7 m||Show|
Razor's Sunday Battle Of The Basement Winning $ide!
Denver Broncos (3-9 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (3-9 SU, 3-9 ATS)
University of Phoenix Stadium - 4:15PM ET
The Denver Broncos travel to Arizona to face the hapless Cardinals and this is strictly a play-against Arizona.
Denver is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Arizona, and Arizona is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games at home.
Yes I know the Denver Broncos have been mathematically eliminated from the NFL playoffs, but they're not as bad as Arizona.
Denver has had its fair share of struggles this year, which is why head coach Josh McDaniels was fired this week, but they haven't been nearly as bad as Arizona. Running backs coach Eric Studesville will serve as interim coach for the final four games of the season.
The Broncos are nothing special but they are at least decent. They have a good quarterback in Kyle Orton, a decent passing game with a number of receiving weapons and their defense shouldn't be so overmatched this week. Orton is having a career year. He has 20 touchdown passes against four interceptions and is fourth in the NFL with 3,487 yards.
Look for them to put forth a good performance for their new (and interim) head coach Eric Studesville. The Broncos are 7-0-1 all-time against the Cardinals, including a 37-20 victory at Arizona in 2006.
The Cardinals simply can't get anything going on offense and compounding their problems is a murky quarterback situation this week.
Derek Anderson and Max Hall have both been brutal, to say the least, but Hall is out (dislocated shoulder) and Anderson (concussion) is more than likely out as well. That leaves the duties to rookie John Skelton, who is a fifth-round pick out of Fordham. Coming from a small school likely Fordham, he's less than NFL-ready and he's never started an NFL game. This could be very UGLY.
Bet the Broncos. 10* play.
|12-12-10||Cleveland Browns v. Buffalo Bills -1||Top||6-13||Win||100||62 h 10 m||Show|
Stick It To Your Man $unday!
Cleveland (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Buffalo (2-10 SU, 6-5-1 ATS)
Ralph Wilson Stadium - 1:00PM ET
Oddsmakers currently have the Bills listed as 1-point favorites.
The Cleveland Browns enter this week's contest in Buffalo playing their second straight road game. Their first one went well as they eked out a victory in Miami but we all know, winning two straight on the road is always tough.
The Browns will have to rely on their running game once again this week as the weather might call for snow and/or freezing rain. But the Browns will be far too predictable and that should allow the Bills to focus more of their defense on stopping Peyton Hillis.
Cleveland is 4-13 SU in its last 17 games on the road, and Buffalo is 5-1-1 ATS in its last 7 games.
Of the two quarterbacks, Jake Delhomme is far more mistake prone and that is a big concern - especially on a second straight road game. It won't be pretty but the Bills will get their third win on the year at home this week.
Although it started the season 0-8, Buffalo had shown signs of turning things around prior to last week
|12-11-10||Portland -6 v. Denver||Top||71-64||Win||100||7 h 54 m||Show|
Razor's Saturday CBB Hoops B-L-O-W-O-U-T
Portland (7-3 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. Denver (2-7 SU, 1-3 ATS)
Magness Arena 6:00PM ET
The 7-3 Portland Pilots will look to bounce-back today after a loss to No. 21 Washington. They shouldn't have a problem doing that against Denver, who is 2-7 on the year and 2-8 SU in its last 10 games.
Portland is a good squad that can stretch the floor with their shooting. They average 7.7 three-pointers per game and shoot 43.5% from beyond the arc.
The real issue for Denver is they have no size on their roster. They get smoked on the glass on a nightly basis and are a -7 in the rebound margin.
Take Portland to rebound after a tough loss as they are clearly the better team in this spot.
|12-10-10||New York Knicks -2.5 v. Washington Wizards||Top||101-95||Win||100||7 h 15 m||Show|
Friday NBA Steam! Razor Ray's Knicks/Wiz Winning Side!
New York (14-9 SU, 15-7-1 ATS) vs. Washington (6-15 SU, 9-12 ATS)
Verizon Center - 7:00 PM ET
The opening line on this matchup saw most books at -5.
The New York Knicks are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now and on Friday night, they are going to face one that can't be much colder.
The Knicks have won six straight overall, seven straight on the road and have lost just once in their last 11 games. My Man Amare has been on fire. Stoudemire has scored 30 or more points in six straight games and can tie the franchise record of seven straight 30-point performances set by Willie Naulls in 1962. Plus he's third in the NBA with a 25.7 scoring average. PG Raymond Felton isn't playing too shabby either. Did you like Wednesday